Reflecting on your practice
Reflection is a valuable skill for any profession, and teaching is no exception.
If you are new to tertiary teaching, reflecting on how you feel your classes went will prove to be an invaluable skill in your developing style.
Conversely, if you are an experienced lecturer, presenting the same course from one semester to the next, reflecting upon what worked well (and, indeed, what didn't) can help you to refine your approaches and techniques.
In addition to honing your teaching skills, reflection may also be triggered/required by external factors, such as:
- updates and alterations to the curriculum (syllabus, training packages, etc)
- changes to the student profile (issues of engagement, learning styles, previous experience)
- new industry practices and standards
- student feedback
- RMIT's Program Annual Review process
- quality assurance requirements (AUQA or AQTF).
Suggested reflection strategies:
- Keep a journal of each class or lecture. Before the session, record your learning objectives, planned activities and approaches. Afterwards, assess whether these were successful and/or appropriate. What might you do differently next time?
- Record your classes (audio and/or video) in order to gain the audience's perspective of your performance. Review your delivery style, speech, non-verbal communication and movement around the room.
- Establish a peer review approach within your discipline team, and benefit from your colleagues' experiences. Others may have already implemented new strategies you are considering, and can provide you with valuable advice.
- Prepare a submission for a University teaching award. This process can provide a useful framework for reflection, and serve as an impetus to gather feedback about your teaching from a number of perspectives: students, colleagues, managers and industry professionals.
- 'Worktrax' is an online tool which can assist teachers to maintain an ongoing record of teaching practice, assessment and reflection. Particularly useful in assisting VET teachers to meet AQTF audit requirements.
- Ed article: 'Getting started: Three teachers talk about being new to teaching'
- The University of New South Wales provides information about reflecting on your teaching, including a framework for reflection.
Examples of practice
Reflecting on teaching practice
Clare Renner from the School of Creative Media discusses how she reflects on her teaching practice.